ROUND ROCK -- Michael Kirkman says his family took his cancer diagnosis harder than he did.
"I'm kind of a mellow person," Kirkman said. "I try not to take things too hard. But they definitely took it harder than I did."
The Rangers announced that Kirkman, a pitcher with Triple-A Round Rock, had been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer May 21. It was not considered life-threatening, but very treatable, and would not even interfere with his baseball activities. Kirkman will receive his third treatment Monday, and hopes two more treatments after that will be all he needs.
"The treatments have gone great. We're seeing results already," Kirkman said. "I feel a little more exhausted throughout the week, but that's the worst of it. I try not to let anything get me down or take me out of my game or take away from quality of life or anything like that. I try not to have any excuses."
After going 0-1 with a 11.45 ERA in seven April appearances, Kirkman went 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA in six May starts. He allowed two runs on five hits in five innings of relief of Roy Oswalt in Saturday night's 3-2 win over Albuquerque, picking up his fifth win of the year.
"I'm trying to get on a little roll here," Kirkman said. "I'm getting into a rhythm. If I get into something tonight, with a leadoff walk and a wild pitch, I was able to work through that. I was kind of erratic, but I was able to get myself through it and get out of it.
Kirkman began the season in Round Rock's bullpen before moving to the rotation in April. But since being diagnosed with cancer, while understanding that it's not a life-threatening condition, Kirkman says it's helped him put things in perspective.
"There's more important things than baseball," Kirkman said. "There's life."